Creating Forest-Grown Tea in Hawaii

Since we launched Talking Tea in 2014, one of our main areas of focus has been the continuing growth of tea enthusiasm in North America. We've chatted with tea sellers, educators and writers, but we haven't had the chance to talk with anyone actually farming tea in the US or Canada. Until now.

Today on Talking Tea we welcome Eliah Halpeny and Cam Muir of Big Island Tea, a pioneering tea farm and producer on the (you guessed it) big island of Hawaii. Eliah and Cam have created an ecologically complex forest environment for growing tea on the fertile slopes of Mauna Loa volcano. They chat with us about how they came to tea production, their model of sustainable tea farming in a self-replenishing forest and how that model impacts the flavor, aroma and quality of their teas. We also chat about Hawaii's budding tea industry and about how the artistry and science Cam and Eliah bring to their work go into creating what Cam calls a "symphony of flavors" in their teas. And from our perspective, that symphony is a masterpiece.

 

More about Big Island Tea, including retailers and restaurants carrying its teas, can be found at its website, bigislandtea.com. Additional images are on its Instagram feed. For info about private purchases of Big Island teas, contact Eliah at eliah@bigislandtea.com.

 

For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea.

To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com.

Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us.

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken. 

 

This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

 

Image of the Big Island Tea farm courtesy of Big Island Tea.

 

 

 

 

 

Direct download: TT_Big_Island_Tea.mp3
Category:Society & Culture -- posted at: 10:05am EDT
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Tea, Heart to Heart

This week on Talking Tea we return to the Tea Institute at Penn State University to explore the evolution and burgeoning growth of interest in Japanese tea ceremony study at the Institute and beyond, and the transformative nature of tea ceremony practice. We first chat with Drew Hanson, founding instructor of the Urasenke program at the Institute. Drew talks with us about his own journey from art to tea, the history and development of the Japanese track at the Institute, and changing demographics and perspectives among students of Japanese tea ceremony.

Aside from his work in tea, Drew's teaching background is in literature and theater, and since tea ceremony has been called an "improvised drama", we look at whether tea ceremony in the Japanese tradition is a form of interactive theater. We explore the roles of action, dialogue and utensils, the "parts" played by participants, and those transformative moments of giving freely from the heart which are common to both theater and tea ceremony.

We're also joined by Courtney Singley, current student director of the Japanese tea ceremony track at the Institute. Courtney is an architecture student at Penn State, and she shares with us her perspectives on openness and intimacy in the spatial elements of tea ceremony, and how those elements can be internalized and then used in building for ourselves and our world.

 

More about the Tea Institute, its programs, events and tea house, is in our earlier episode, "Tea Goes to College", and at the Institute's website.

For information on Drew Hanson's private classes in Japanese tea ceremony, go to his website, njgreentea.com.

Info about Japanese tea ceremony classes offered through Urasenke Philadelphia and Shofuso is available at Shofuso's website or at phillytea.org.

 

For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea.

To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com.

Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us.

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken. 

 

This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

Direct download: TT_Penn_State_2.mp3
Category:Society & Culture -- posted at: 12:23pm EDT
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